Daily Readings and Problems
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  1. Nature of Light (Jan. 11,13)

    Learning objectives: understand the particle and wave models of light as well as absorption and emission in both the wave and particle models of light
    Readings: Meyer-Arendt chapter 20

  2. Sources and Detectors (Jan. 18, 20)

    Learning objectives: understand SOURCES: black-body radiation; radio-frequency antennae; flourescent lights, phosphors, LEDs, lasers; understand DETECTOR as a transducer of light intensity -> current or voltage (antennae, bolometers, photoconductors, photodiodes, photomultipliers, scintillation counter)
    Readings: Meyer-Arendt chapter 20,23

  3. Reflection and Refraction (Jan. 25, 27)

    Learning objectives: index of refraction, optical path length, reduced distance, law of reflection, Snell's law, Fermat's principle, total internal reflection, prism equation, anuglar dispersion
    Readings: Meyer-Arendt chapter 1

  4. Thin Lenses (Feb. 1, Feb. 3)

    Learning objectives: define vergence, refracting power of a surface, Cartesian sign convention, derivation of Gauss equation, lens makers's equation, thin lens equation, Newton's lens equation, transverse magnification, axial magnification, ray tracing

    Readings: Meyer-Arendt chapter 2

  5. Thick Lenses (Feb. 8, Feb. 10)

    Learning objectives: define the principal planes of a thick lens or two-lens system; to calculate the effective focal length of a two-lens system; to define and calculate the front and back vertex focal lengths; to calculate the system matrix and the object-image matrix for a multiple lens system

    Readings: Meyer-Arendt chapter 3

  6. Mirrors (Feb. 15)

    Learning objectives: Know the sign convention for mirrors. Be able to find the nature, position and magnification of images formed by both plane and spherical mirrors by ray tracing and the mirror equations. Be able to calculate the reflection matrix and use it to calculate the system matrix and object-image matrix for optical systems containing mirrors. Explain the uses of parabolic and ellipsoidal mirrors.

    Readings: Meyer-Arendt chapter 4

  7. Aberrations (March 1), Stops and Pupils (March 3)

    Learning objectives: State the five types monochromatic aberrations; understand and be able to draw a ray diagram for spherical aberration and chromatic aberration; understand the solutions for spherical aberration; understand the two solutions to chromatic aberration

    Understand the difference between an aperture stop and a field stop. Define the f-number. Understand the connection between f-number and speed of a lens and depth of field. Be able to locate the aperture stop, and the entrance and exit pupils for simple optical systems.

    Readings: Meyer-Arendt chapter 5 and 6

  8. Wave Equation (March 8); Two Slit Interference (March 10)

    Learning objectives: Understand the derivation of the one-dimensional wave equation; be able to demonstrate whether a function f(x,t) is a solution of the wave equation; understand sinusoidal travelling wave notation; list the properties of electromagnetic waves; understand the geometry of Young's double slit experiment; understand cartesian and polar form of complex numbers; do simple algebra on complex numbers; understand phasors; be able to calculate the intensity as a function of position for two (or more) sources with fixed phase difference

    Readings: Meyer-Arendt chapter 11

  9. Michelson Inteferometer (March 15); Thin Film Interference (March 17)

    Learning objectives: Understand how a Michelson interferometer works; understand what is meant by "fourier transform spectroscopy"; understand thin film interference is due to both path difference and the phase shifts produced by reflections at the front and back surfaces. Calculation of intensity at output of Michelson using phasors.

    Readings: Meyer-Arendt chapter 11/12

  10. Single Slit Fraunhofer Diffraction (March 22);

    Learning objectives: Single slit diffraction; calculation of single slit intensity pattern using phasors; real double slit diffraction is product of ideal double slit and single slit pattern

    Readings: Meyer-Arendt chapter 14

  11. Diffraction Grating and Coherence (March 29);

    Learning objectives: Calculation of intensity produced by grating using phasors; grating equation; understand the order of a grating and the use of second order filters. Distinguish between incoherent, coherent and partially coherent light; define coherence time and length; define fringe visibility; criterion of spatial extent of source required to produce interference fringes with reasonable visibility

    Readings: Meyer-Arendt chapters 13,15

  12. Scattering and Polarization (March 31,April 5);

    Learning objectives: Spatial and frequency dependence of Rayleigh and Mie Scattering; distinguish between unpolarized, linearly polarized, circularly polarized and elliptically polarized light; methods of polarization; birefringence; Malus law; retarders: quarter and half wave plates

    Readings: Meyer-Arendt chapters 16,17

  13. Final Exam: Sat. April 22, 9am -12 noon

    Coverage:phasors, two slit interference, thin film interference, michelson interferometer, single slit diffraction, coherence, diffraction gratings, scattering, polarization

    Readings: Meyer-Arendt chapters 11,12,13,14,15,16,17
    Format: multiple choice questions and some problems similar to assignments for weeks 8 through 11 or the extra problems below.